Bio and photos provided by Sathya

Sathya formed in 1997 out of Portland, Ore., setting out to play a melodic yet heavy breed of music with major influences in both traditional metal and death metal. The original lineup included David Peters on guitars, Matt Nightengale on drums and Jamie Weathers on bass. Soon, a second guitarist, Tommy Graven, was added to fill out the sound and allow the use of more harmonies. Sathya wrote about 10 original songs with this early lineup, although none were recorded due to many accidents and mishaps which were to follow.

Drummer and good friend Matt Nightengale was involved in a serious car wreck, disabling him from being a future member of Sathya. Attempts to find a new drummer were made over the next few months, but Matt’s experience and endurance proved to be difficult to match. Finally, Sathya picked up Abe Holderman in 1999. Abe was an old high school jamming buddy of Tommy’s with natural abilities. Sathya continued to work on their musicianship and song-writing capabilities during the following year.

Old friend Bob Gossett moved to Portland from San Diego in late 1999 and quickly became Sathya’s front man with his brutal vocals. This proved to be the final ingredient Sathya had been searching for and plans were made to record their debut album in July of 2000.

Another unfortunate incident occurred when Jamie and Abe were involved in a car wreck. Fortunately, Jamie walked away with minor injuries, but Abe was not so lucky. He was seriously injured with numerous bones broken in his right arm and leg. He also suffered a broken nose and broken ribs. Abe was hospitalized for about a month, but was a dedicated drummer to Sathya so as soon as he was released, he began rehearsing with Sathya once again. Although half of his limbs were broken and constrained by casts, Abe went against doctors orders and began drumming again right away. Of course, Abe’s drum skills were not up to their normal standards, but watching him drum in this crippled state was an amazing yet comical experience. However, his injuries proved to take much longer to heal due to his persistence.

During Abe’s time out, Sathya decided that Jamie was not working out as their bassist, so he was released and Bob became the new bass player. His background of multiple styles, including funk, jazz and metal added an extremely interesting element to the evolution of the band. This, of course, created an empty void where the singer once stood. After much deliberation and trying out other singers, Sathya decided to simply handle the vocals themselves.

So with this final lineup of David Peters, Tommy Graven, Abe Holderman and Bob Gossett, Sathya began to record their debut album in June of 2001 with all new material. After months of hard work in the studio, the self-titled album was finished. The CD clocks in at just under 70 minutes, with 11 songs, including one acoustic ballad. Sathya’s sound seems to be rounded out quite nicely with plenty of dual guitar harmonies, acoustic breakdowns and varied vocals.

Sathya’s live shows have impressed many metalheads who claim that the band actually sounds better live than recorded. This is a great compliment but comes as no surprise to a band that is constantly working on perfecting their live performance.

Sathya is currently working on material for their next CD and hoping to release it sometime in 2004.

Album review

Sathya (Self-released~2001)

Sometimes I hear a heavily hyped album and I wonder how the band managed to gain so much attention for what I find to be nothing more than average music. And then there are times when I hear a release such as “Sathya” and wonder how such a magnificent album could possibly be self-released and how such a terrific band could possibly be unsigned. Based out of Portland, Ore., Sathya seems heavily influenced by the Swedish melodic death metal scene. While the style may be a bit familiar, this band is impressive in its ability to craft and perform songs that never fail to hold my attention throughout. There are plenty of bands I’ve seen on the cover of metal magazines that only wish they could come up with something as incredible as “Top Gun”, a killer song that includes nice acoustic sections as well as great bass parts and an awesome guitar solo. Every song is a keeper, but some of my personal favorites are “Demon Slayer”, “Dethroned”, the title track and “Ohm”. The performances here are all top notch and the instruments all work together within the framework of well-composed material. The vocals are varied and effective, but aren’t overbearing and allow the music to breathe. I rarely like metal instrumentals, but I even enjoy “Gunn Dance”. Filled with music that is intense and powerful yet also beautiful and classy, this is nothing short of a great album.

For an interview with Sathya band members, go here.

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